Billionaire to invite up to 8 guests on his paid 2023 lunar trip

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jserraglio
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Billionaire to invite up to 8 guests on his paid 2023 lunar trip

Post by jserraglio » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:34 pm

WSJ — HAWTHORNE, Calif. — SpaceX’s first paying passenger will be Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who is to blast off from earth in 2023, circle the moon and return, the company’s founder and chief executive, Elon Musk, said at an event Monday evening, where the space tourist also made brief remarks.
Mr. Musk said he and Mr. Maezawa weren’t disclosing the price tag for the lunar joy ride.
Mr. Maezawa, an art collector, said he would invite six to eight artists to participate in the lunar voyage as a way of inspiring their work.
“For me, this project is very meaningful,” Mr. Maezawa said, adding that he hoped traveling to the moon would increase world peace. “This is my lifelong dream,” he said.
This isn’t Mr. Maezawa’s first time in the limelight: The e-commerce mogul stunned the art world last year when he paid $110.5 million for a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting of a black skull, a record for a U.S. artist at auction.
Mr. Maezawa, a 42-year-old former rock drummer, amassed a $3 billion fortune selling imported records and then trendy clothes through his online fashion conglomerate, now part of a company called Zozotown.
Mr. Musk said Mr. Maezawa, whom he described as “the bravest person” and “the best adventurer,” is “paying a lot of money” and “for the ability for the average citizen to travel to other planets.”
Mr. Musk said he expected short test hops of the spacecraft next year and perhaps some booster tests shortly after that. “If things go well,” he added, SpaceX “could be doing the first orbital flights in two or three years.”
“I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself,” Mr. Maezawa said. “I want to share these experiences and things with as many people as possible. That is why I choose to go to the moon with artists.”
Mr. Maezawa said after purchasing the Basquiat painting he wondered “what if Basquiat had gone to space and seen the moon up close?”
Mr. Maezawa said he hasn’t decided which artists—who could range from painters, musicians and fashion designers to photographers or film directors—to invite. “If you should hear from me you should say ‘yes, please’—don’t say ‘no,’” he said.
Mr. Musk’s enthusiasm for a lunar-tourist mission has been evident for two years, though Monday’s announcement is the fourth iteration of those plans. Since the initial concept was revealed in February 2017, SpaceX has delayed the anticipated launch two times and twice changed rocket designs.
Mr. Musk said the mission would take about four to five days.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s founder and chief executive has consistently said his company’s long-term goal is to send humans to Mars, so the proposed mission around the moon originally caught some boosters and industry officials by surprise. But then it became widely viewed as a way to demonstrate the capabilities of the company’s 27-engine Falcon Heavy booster, which flew for the first time earlier this year. But now, with SpaceX substituting an even bigger, more powerful rocket under development—dubbed the BFR—the anticipated mission has been pushed back several years.
Last September, Mr. Musk said he expected to send a BFR carrying people to Mars in 2022, though he called that deadline “aspirational.” Since then, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell has said the company hopes to flight test the rocket’s spaceship on independent short hops by the end of 2019.
The company hasn’t disclosed costs for the mammoth rocket or its associated spaceship. But at Monday’s event Mr. Musk said it would likely end up around $5 billion. Before announcing the passenger at Monday’s event, Mr. Musk acknowledged he doesn’t have a specific funding concept. “We need to seek every possible means” of funding, the SpaceX chief told the crowd, without elaborating on new sources outside the company’s current or proposed business lines.
In SpaceX’s customary flashy style, Mr. Musk spoke on a 2-foot-high white podium, facing a bank of video cameras, photographers and a crowd of reporters and employees. A few yards behind him was the working end of a massive Falcon 9 rocket, laid out horizontally with the nozzles of its nine engines facing the media. Hanging on part of the rocket factory wall and towering over the crowd was a full scale, black-and-white diagram of the rear view of the spaceship.
Before the press conference started, press relations officials said Mr. Musk—facing heightened public and government scrutiny in others areas—wouldn’t respond to questions on other topics.
During the nearly 90-minute press conference, Mr. Musk veered from off-the-cuff sound bites about complex rocket trajectories to comments about his personal excitement. “I’m super fired-up,” he said in conclusion. “This is going to be great.”
Despite the public focus on the moon mission, Mr. Musk also has sent mixed messages about how important he thinks human or robotic lunar missions are to his eventual dream of helping colonize Mars. When he first broached the idea of sending two paying passengers around the moon in a modified Dragon capsule being developed to transport U.S. astronauts into orbit, Mr. Musk touted the effort as the evolution of public-private space partnerships favored by President Trump’s administration. The latest plan, however, features both a rocket and a spaceship that are envisioned to be entirely funded by SpaceX.
Just hours before the press conference, answering a question on Twitter about whether government customers have first call on the BFR, Mr. Musk responded that the closely held company’s priority “is and will remain supporting” planned astronaut flights to the international space station and “National Security missions” for the military and spy agencies. Over the years, Mr. Musk and his lieutenants have variously identified increasing numbers of commercial-satellite launches and deployment of thousands of low-orbit satellites as primary drivers of future revenue and profits.
Today, SpaceX, which company officials say has been profitable in years when it has avoided major rocket accidents, faces economic challenges following a sustained period of significant growth. Commercial launch contracts for big satellites are depressed globally, with a dozen or so projected overall across all launch providers for 2019 and 2020. By contrast, internal financial projections—drafted before the downturn became pronounced—anticipated roughly a dozen such contracts for SpaceX alone in each of those years. In addition, those optimistic projections envisioned more than 40 total SpaceX launches yearly between 2018 and 2020, encompassing commercial, military and NASA missions.
The Falcon Heavy rocket, which was years late and over budget, has experienced slips in projected launch tempo and schedule. Its next flight has been pushed out to next February from this fall. The internal company projections listed more than half a dozen Falcon Heavy missions for both 2019 and 2020, but industry experts and company managers recently have predicted much lower numbers.

jbuck919
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Re: Billionaire to invite up to 8 guests on his paid 2023 lunar trip

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:30 am

In the first place, although his paintings now bring millions, he is a gigantically overrated painter. I suppose that it is irrelevant that he died from a heroin overdose at a very young age, but I can't help seeing the connection between his paintings and ordinary graffiti.

Then, to get to the main point, a passenger trip to the moon? Ain't never gonna happen, man.



When I first saw this film, it had a different sound track.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Billionaire to invite up to 8 guests on his paid 2023 lunar trip

Post by jserraglio » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:56 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:30 am
a passenger trip to the moon? Ain't never gonna happen, man.
You of course know full well that orbital lunar flights were made feasible a half century ago.

Right now Boeing and SpaceX are under contract by NASA to send humans into earth orbit, if not in 2019, as projected, then soon thereafter, most likely in 2020.

Running parallel to that track is the SpaceX project to sell seats on a lunar craft that will fly around the moon and return.

You may not like it but it gonna happen, dude.

jbuck919
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Re: Billionaire to invite up to 8 guests on his paid 2023 lunar trip

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:25 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:56 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:30 am
a passenger trip to the moon? Ain't never gonna happen, man.
You of course know full well that orbital lunar flights were made feasible a half century ago.

Right now Boeing and SpaceX are under contract by NASA to send humans into earth orbit, if not in 2019, as projected, then soon thereafter, most likely in 2020.

Running parallel to that track is the SpaceX project to sell seats on a lunar craft that will fly around the moon and return.

You may not like it but it gonna happen, dude.
Well, dude, Saturn 5 with its capsule was the aerospace engineering miracle of all time, and as you know it actually almost failed once, not even counting the fire that took the lives of several astronauts when it was still on the launching pad. (If you have never been to Cape Canaveral to see the only remaining full-life model, prepare yourself to faint.) Four percent of everyone who has ever been sent into space has died, an unacceptable figure for any airline. Remember, I worked for a NASA contractor when the ISS was being designed and initially put into orbit. Eventually, they are going to have to evacuate that structure assuming that the Russian rocket still works and send the useless craft into a decaying downspin. I am surprised that it has not happened already. You do know that space flight causes irretrievable loss of calcium? Let us concentrate on our own planet, the only home we will ever have.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
Posts: 4734
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Billionaire to invite up to 8 guests on his paid 2023 lunar trip

Post by jserraglio » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:34 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:25 pm
it actually almost failed once
Setbacks haven't stopped humans from braving danger for the sake of adventure in the past, even in the face of predictions of doom; and they are about as likely to stop in the future as they are to incur an irretrievable calcium deficit from a quick trip to the moon and back.

Though not life-threatening nowadays, hitting a white spinning 9.25" circumferential sphere traveling toward you @ 100 mph has a failure rate that far exceeds that of space travel, yet people keep trying.

And, my man, surely you've noticed that some of them do succeed, in spite of the odds.

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